By Mark Sumner / Daily Kos
Donald Trump still insists that Mexico is going to pay for the border wall. Except Mexico stubbornly refuses to send an up-front check for something that would cost as much as their national budget, is designed to wreck their economy, and is basically the world’s biggest and “most beautiful” screw-you. So until Trump figures out exactly how to get Mexico to shell out for a giant slap in the face, there’s the problem of finding that money in your pocket.
Last week Trump budget director, and chief torturer of both reason and common decency, Mick Mulvaney, proposed that Trump might let slip a dollar worth of health care for every dollar that Democrats provided for hate concrete. Mulvaney insisted that the Wall was a must-have, take-it-or-leave-it item, but his healthcare for hardware exchange was not exactly a deal anyone rushed to embrace.
As it turns out, there was no need to, because faced with the idea of hitting a government shutdown on Day 99 of his regime, Donald Trump appears ready to fold like a gaudy gold napkin in the Mar-a-lago dining and strategic planning room.
President Trump signaled to a gathering of conservative media reporters on Monday that he may be open to delaying the funding of his proposed border wall.
The president said — according to tweets from conservative media at the gathering this evening — that his administration could get the funding for the wall this week or they could come back to it in September.
That’s not to say that a spending bill coming through the Republican-controlled congress won’t contain any number of attempts to deprive, assault, and humiliate the average American—it’s what Republicans do. But at least people won’t be forced to cover a shipment of rebar in the cost of their next flu shot.
“It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations. Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues,” Schumer said in a statement.
Donald Trump surrenders at the first sign of resistance. It’s his best quality. And in this case, the resistance was ‘fierce.’
In the face of fierce Democratic opposition to funding the wall’s construction, White House officials signaled Monday that the president may be open to an agreement that includes money for border security if not specifically for a wall, with an emphasis on technology and border agents rather than a structure.
That wall is seeming more virtual all the time. Trump’s wall — it’s a state of mind.
Trump’s collapse is becoming something of a pattern.
In the health care debate, the president was going to force a House vote on the package and dare skeptical Republicans to vote against replacing Obamacare, before abandoning that plan in the face of defeat.
Trump seems to have decided that it’s better to give up in advance and risk being called a loser, than to force a confrontation and be proven a loser. Which is something Democrats should definitely remember when it comes to negotiation with Trump in the future.
Even on his biggest signature item. Even when he made a promise to his base over and over. Even after months of yelling, finger-wagging and threats … Trump gave up rather than risk a simple loss. And of course, he’s up on Twitter to tell you that it didn’t happen.
Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
Who were you going to believe, Donald Trump’s tweet, or all the evidence that he’s utterly gutless?
With still four days to go in the funding battle, he showed his hard-line stance wasn’t so hard-line, after all. Basically, he had his bluff called — again.
He took what is likely his best chance at getting funding for something he promised to voters dozens upon dozens of times, and he didn’t even bring it close to the finish line to make Democrats sweat. Indeed, the likelihood that Congress is going to agree to fund the wall at a later date seems considerably less than it would be this week. Trump has essentially taken his wall and turned it into a metaphorical wall — substituting increased enforcement — rather than a brick-and-mortar one.